Times Colonist’s feature on Lisbon’s architecture could have been so good…

We are neither architects nor specialists in this field. But we really enjoy interesting architecture.

The way we find it, is usually by touring around Lisbon. And then we follow the media’s increasing coverage of Lisbon’s contemporary architecture closely. So my expectations were high when the headline Portugal’s Striking Modern Architecture… clicked into my inbox.


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My enthusiasm only lasted a few seconds

After the first paragraph I had a strange feeling that this story only had architecture as an excuse to promote Boa Nova Tea House outside Porto and Altis Belem Hotel & Spa in Belem, Lisbon. To me it seemed very strange to feature Portuguese contemporary architecture without mentioning Amanda Levete’s MAAT museum – the architecture that has received the most media coverage worldwide in 2016.

And after mentioning Centro Cultural de Belem (aka CCB) and after having local specialists from E-architectcs involved, it just doesn’t make any sense not to mention the other architectonial gems in Belem like MAAT and Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown – both as close to The Altis as CCB.


Impressing achievement to write about contemporary Portuguese Architecure without mentioning the MAAT Museum. The single most important architecture event since Expo in 1998

My best guess is that the story is sponsored

I have nothing against sponsored content – most media do that. But they either mention that in a tag and/or use the occasion to do an in depth research to make sure that the story lives up to the readers expectations.

The Altis Hotel & Spa is a super occasion for an introduction to Lisbons contemporary architecture. You could even use use the occasion to suggest an architecture walk along the Tejo river starting at The Altis hotel and the architectural gems in Belem and ending in Expo with the Pavillion and Gare do Oriente passing by another new piece the EDP Headquaters by Aires Mateus on the way. And why not mentioning the Jeronimus Monastry, Belem Tower, LX Factory, Commercio and all the other MUST see sights along the way at the same time.  A perfect day trip in this fantastic city.

Any way – I’m not a journalist. I just don’t like spending time on an irrelevant story when it takes so little to make it inspirering.



Times Colonist: Portugal’s striking modern architecture is increasingly drawing tourists

time-colonistOne of the founding fathers of Portuguese moderne architecture, Alvaro Siza Vieira, once said that tradition is a challenge to innovation.

However, it’s clear that the distinctive cobblestone streets and elaborate tile murals of Lisbon and Porto, Portugal’s first and second cities, have not been able to smother the flames of architectural innovation and design emerging in the country.

Some of Portugal’s most striking buildings are the ones not featured in tourist brochures. But international travellers are taking notice, and the country’s modern architecture is increasingly becoming a draw for those craving a more local and cultural travel experience.

Read Katie DeRosa’s feature in the Times Colonist


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